Dual Olympian C.J. Bruton has announced his immediate retirement from international basketball, ending his hopes of a berth for the upcoming World Championships and bringing to a close a remarkable career as a member of the Golden Star Australian Boomers men’s national basketball team.
Basketball Australia today confirmed reports of Bruton’s decision to retire effective immediately, with BA Chief Executive Officer Larry Sengstock praising the 34-year-old for his immense contribution to the continued success of the Boomers program.
“It was with great sadness that we heard the news that CJ had decided to end his international basketball career, but we respect his decision and thank him for all he has contributed to the Boomers and Australian basketball,” said Sengstock. “He is a major part of the reason why the Australian men’s program has consistently ranked in the top ten countries in the world and he will be sorely missed.”
Boomers’ head coach Brett Brown explained that some niggling injuries had convinced Bruton that it was time to step back from the national team program.
“He just felt that after coming into camp and giving it his best effort, he physically would be a liability to the group,” Brown told AAP from the Gold Coast, where the Boomers are undergoing a six-day training camp in preparation for the upcoming World Championships.
“He feels with the short preparation he wouldn’t be able to get to 100 per cent and he wanted to declare that to us early so we could make plans in a reasonable time-frame.
“It’s a hell of a thing to admit you can’t play a world championships and it highlights the class he’s handled himself with from day one.”
Bruton made his debut for the Boomers back in 1998 and went on to represent Australia at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games. He was Co-captain of the Boomers team that defeated New Zealand to win the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006. He also represented Australia at the 2006 FIBA World Championships in Japan. He played 104 senior international games in the green and gold.
The son of legendary National Basketball League guard Cal Bruton, CJ has compiled his own remarkable career in the NBL and will continue to play for the New Zealand Breakers when the 2010/11 NBL season tips-off on October 15.
The Boomers will now continue their preparations for the 2010 FIBA World Championships, which will be held be held in Turkey from 28 August to 12 September, without Bruton.